- COVID-19 has led to unpredictable effects on the online gambling markets.
- In some sectors, online gambling has spiked heavily, such as sports betting.
- In others, for example, Delaware’s IGaming sector, revenues have fallen.
LAS VEGAS - The COVID-19 pandemic has done a number on many in person casino gambling setups.
However, the casino gambling industry overall has not been seriously hurt in terms of volume of money going in and out.
How is this possible?
The answer lies in online gambling, which appears to be set for a boom in the upcoming years.
With casinos closed down, many American gamblers turned to online sportsbooks and casinos in order to place their bets.
These online casinos have spent 2020 reporting record profits. To give only a few examples:
UFC 249 broke records for online sports betting on the UFC. This event was the first UFC PPV event to happen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The US Presidential Election was the most heavily bet on event of all time at sportsbooks outside of America.
Given this information, it seems clear that sports bettors are willing to turn to online options at any time.
However, the future of online casino gambling is a little bit murkier in terms of both availability and data.
For example, in Delaware, online gambling revenue has fallen for six straight months as brick and mortar casinos reopen.
Perhaps there is something about the casino experience that online casinos currently cannot replicate, or perhaps the fact that sports betting is so integrated with sports itself at this point makes the markets react differently.
This, of course, does come with serious implications - both online gambling and problem gambling increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is possible that the pandemic itself, and the negative effects it had on the global economy, could cause the kind of economic uncertainty that would lead to a rise in problem gambling.
So, taken together, what does this all mean?
Online gambling has certainly risen in prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many companies are continuing to invest in online solutions.
Online sports betting looks set to be a big market in the future, as more states continue to legalize the practice.
However, should the COVID-19 pandemic come to a satisfactory end, one wonders if the online gambling boom, driven in part by the pandemic and associated economic precariousness, could find itself a bit limited.
USA Online gambling enthusiasts should keep their ears to the ground on this one.
COVID-19 is the biggest confounding variable possible, and many should be cautious to project the future based on information from the pandemic period.